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“For Those who Serve in Thy Holy House”: Antiochian Heroes in North America

In the petition we pray during the Litany of Fervent Supplication in the Divine Liturgy, the deacon or priest intones: "Again we pray for those who do good works, for those who serve in this holy house, for those who labor, teach, and sing, and for all the people here present who await your great and rich mercy." In the spirit of that prayer, a project was created to gather the biographical information of clergy known to have served the faithful of the Antiochian Archdiocese in North America since the first immigration of the late 1800s. 

Each one of these early priests to a greater or lesser extent contributed, through their labor and ministry, to the building up of the Orthodox Church in North America. Each one deserves our gratitude for their dedicated and sacrificial service. A central depository of records for Antiochian clergy does not exist and so the information contained in this list was gathered from numerous sources including but not limited to: archival issues of The Word magazine, Antiochian and Orthodox Church in America (OCA) clergy files, local newspaper articles, parish histories, published articles and books, immigration records, census reports, vital records, obituaries, cemetery records, family histories, and several other sources.

From this day forward, God grant that when we hear this Litany, we will recall the hundreds of priests who gave their lives for the building up of "this holy house." 

BIOGRAPHIES (in alphabetical order)

The Very Rev. Anthony Bahah + October 8, 1936

Archimandrite Elias Simon Hamaty + January 7, 1945

Fr. Alexi Hanna

Fr. Elias Hawy

Fr. Joseph Kacere

The Very Rev. John Koury

The Rt. Rev. George D. Maloof + October 23, 1920

The Very Rev. Basilios George Mahfouz + January 31, 1958 

The Very Rev. George Mahfouz

The Very Rev. Athanasios Rihbany + July 24, 1955

Fr. John Saba

The Very Rev. Paul Schneirla + September 20, 2014

Fr. Shukralah Shadid + April 4, 1937

Fr. Michael G. Simon

The Very Rev. Dr. Stephen Upson + September 30, 2000 

The Very Rev. Abraham Shaheen Zaine + May 4, 1970